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Rush Hill Community Church
from MEXICO MISSOURI MESSAGE May 20, 1915 5/3,4 & 5
NEW CHURCH DEDICATION
A NOTABLE EVENT-THE HONORABLE CHAMP CLARK SPEAKS
The new community church of Rush Hill was dedicated Sunday, Rev. Bowling Green Reavis, of Mexico, having charge. At the noon hour everybody was given a free dinner, and at supper time all who remained were feasted again. Hon. Champ Clark spoke in the afternoon and all available space of the big new building was occupied.
Rev. Reavis introduced Mr. Clark and delivered a most interesting address. He recited that he began a revival meeting in Rush Hill a year ago. At a special meeting Christian cooperation of the community was proposed. Cooperation was possible but not union. All Christians could work together if they could not all belong in the same church. Religious dogmas have given way to common sense and reason. Old statements of faith have not and will not solve the problems of life. Forgetting the things which are behind should be our motto. We are following the light of truth, why should we falter? Darkness and doubt may come at times, but through these we are led to better things. I am sure our feet are in the right; we have not yet obtained but we are pushing forward. Sometimes we stop to weep as we go but we shall come again bringing in the sheaves. We have felt the thrill of new life. Man is only strong "when he dares to stand alone".
Mr. Reavis' talk made a profound impression.
Mr. Clark made one of the cleverest speeches we have ever heard him make. Harry Turner of Montgomery City, who was present, refers to the address as follows.
Speaker Clark said he accepted the invitation to deliver an address for two reasons: because he made his first speech when he ran for Congress the first time at Rush Hill and because ever since he had been interested in the Bible and a believer in its teachings he had advocated such a church as this, and he firmly believed it was the beginning of the end of so many weak and unsupported churches in small towns over the country.
Mr. Clark said he is a Christian but he wants to see the Baptists and Christians unite, also the different branches of Methodism and Presbyterians.
The Speaker said the Bible is the greatest book in the literary as well as the spiritual world, and added the greatest compliment ever paid him was by the Washington correspondent who stated that the Speaker quoted the Bible more frequently and correctly than any member of Congress in the last 50 years.
"While I may not measure up to its standard," said the Speaker, "I believe in it theoretically and I believe that religion is as necessary to the human soul as the bread to the human body." The building cost about $7000. Almost $4000 was subscribed Sunday morning toward "raising of building fund". Among the large pledges were $750 by the ladies of the church; Young Men's Bible Class $500; Dr. W. E. Cornett $500; W. S.
Doolin, Henry Stuart, Mrs. J. C. Lowry, Wm. Canterbury, $250 each; J. P. Harper, H. C. Carnes, and Val Erdel, $100 each; George Miller, Harry Armstrong, Ed Crooks, Milton Smith, Thomas Smith, and Thomas Hitch* $50 each; Judge J. W. Beagles, J. C. Diggs, Ed Stuart, Robert Dye, Mark Hitch*, Frank Paige, Anna Miller, Ed Pasley, Leslie Freyer, and R. Ritter, $25 each; Floyd Perry, T. H. Burston, Wm. Ray, Mr. Ford, J. W. Rogers, Jno. Hildebrandt, John Hanger, Clarence Feutz, Jesse Dye, Lew Brashears, Pete Erdel, E. A. Feutz, and Frank Erdel, Sr., $10 each. There were also many smaller pledges given.
We give here some of the records of the different church organizations of Rush Hill.
The first organization was the M. E. Church. The building was Sabbath Home, which church house stood about a mile south of Rush Hill. After Rush Hill was founded the building was moved into town. Rev. Don W. Nichols, who afterwards became a missionary to China, was one of the first pastors. Among the charter members of this church were J. W. Coakley and wife, Mrs. Farrah, T.J. Roberts, P.P. Collier, Pete Skelly, B.C. Torbert, Joe Liebler, B.F. Clark, George Peery, Chas. J. Maxwell and wife, Dan, Jake and Andy Erisman and families, Mrs. Spencer and Jacob Berry and wife. The pastor now is Rev. E.V. Campbell who resides at Laddonia. Some of the present members are Mrs. Geo.Baehr and daughter, Grace; C.L. Smallwood and wife and daughter, Lura;
J.W. Coakley and wife, Geo. Coakley, Nora Coakley, Zella Williams, Mrs. J.C. Maxwell, Charlie Farrah and wife, Mrs. Tillie Howes, Ed Baehr and wife, Mrs. Clara Peery, Laura Maxwell, Owen Maxwell, Mrs. Wm. Spencer, Mrs. C.E. Maxwell and T.E. Maxwell.
The church supports a thriving Sunday school. There were 56 persons in attendance Sunday. A Bible study class of about 20 members meets every Thursday night.
The Baptists once had a lively organization in the town. Rev. N.S. Johnston preached for them three years. Revs. Taylor and Conners were also pastors. The organization has since been abandoned. J.L. Carnes and wife, J.H. Bradley and wife and Mrs. Louis Baehr are the only members left.
The German Evangelical church organized in 1887. Services held in present Methodist church. Follwing charter members: J.L. Panley and family, Fred Feutz and family, Henry Winkler and family, John Zimmerman and family, John Hitz and family, Henry Streif and family, Casper A. Mollet and family, George Apple** and family, Jacob Freyer and family, Fred Doeblin and family, Henry Rust and family, Martin Stuckart and family, George Miller and family, Henry Hirt and family, Louis Peters and family, Jacob Kircher and family, Henry Bartel and family, Theodore Horn and family, F. W. Hoffmeyer and family, M. Gersecker.
Of the 20 charter members, 2 are still living.
Herman Kornke was first pastor of congregation in 1887. In 1888 Rev. Burbaum was called to be pastor in 1889. The present church building was erected, $500 being signed by members for the erection. Rev. Hugo Friedrick was called pastor and first in new building. He served the church, both as teacher and pastor, for 8 years. In 1897 the church joined Synod at St. Louis and Synod supplied their pulpit with Rev. Pahl, who served the Bean Creek church and the Rush Hill congregation, giving half time at each place.
In 1899, the Christian church having no building, held services in this church for three years.
The German Lutheran church organized in 1811***, with the following charter members: Mr. Melahn, Henry Martona, Charley Martins, Mrs. Flosner, Mrs. Herman Geisecke, Mr. Gerwin, Mrs. Seurie, Mrs. Louis Feutz, and others, all of whom are living with the exception of Mrs. Flosner. First pastor called and who began work of this organization was Rev. Halms, a student from St. Louis, who served two years. The present pastor, Rev. Hafermeister, has been with the congregation three years and holds services twice each month in Evangelical church building.
The Catholics have a thriving little congregation here and a good church house. Rev, Gilfallon is the pastor.
The Christian church was organized Dec. 9, 1892, by Elder Charlie C. Hill, with the following members: L.T. Pasley and wife, W.T. Kendall and wife, Clem Doolin and wife, Arthur Yarnell and wife, John J. Talley and wife, Joseph Smith and wife, George F. Richter, Frank Ridgway, Jesse Ridgway, Nettie Ridgway, Susie Ridgway, Minnie Ridgway, Emma R. Green. Total, 19 members, of whom only two remain, L. T. Pasley and wife, Jula F. Pasley.
The organization was effected by electing and ordaining Clem Doolin and L.T. Pasley as elders, and Jos. Smith and Arthur Yarnell as deacons and Wm. T. Kendall, clerk. Twelve of the above members have died and five moved away, leaving the two as mentioned above as remaining.
Pastors J.W. Coggins, Eld. Thomas, R. M. Shelton, R.D. Chinn, who held the position seven years, L.H. Harbord, F.L. Leonard, who held the place five years.
Bro. Pasley broke the sod where this new church now stands..
*Believe should be Hitz
***probably should be 1911